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ICRC and Ethiopian Red Cross Society provides seeds and tools in west Ethiopia

ICRC and Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) provided seeds and farming tools to 42,000 people who were affected by the ethnic conflict that occurred between Gumuz and Oromo ethnic groups in Benishangul region in western Ethiopia

“We are very happy with the seeds and tools we received from the Red Cross as it will help us to cultivate our farms and secure food which we are in dire need,” said Herpe Mekonnen, a single mom raising five kids by herself.

According to Hussein Ibrahim Rasool working for the ICRC, 50kg of teff seed and two farming tools were distributed to more than 14,400 returnees in Haro limmu district of East Wellega Zone in Oromia Region. Whereas 50kg of haricot bean and two farming tools were provided to more than 28000 returnees and residents in Yaso district in Kamashi Zone of Benishangul Gumuz Region.

“The Red Cross is the first humanitarian organization to respond to the needs of the people displaced by ethnic conflict,” remarked Aga Abera, food security and disaster prevention professional with Yaso District Administration. “The support will have a significant contribution in mitigating food problem of the returned people,” he added.

Shanko Bersisa, a resident of Dango Kebele in Yaso district, remarked, “I am happy with the support. With good rain, I can harvest 20 quintals of haricot bean per ha which will be enough to feed my family.”

The ethnic conflict between Gumuz and Oromos which occurred in September 2018 had reportedly claimed the lives of many and left tens of thousands of people displaced.

The ICRC, in partnership with the ERCS, provides assistance mainly to people affected by conflict. In addition, it engages in dialogue with relevant authorities to sensitise them as to the needs of displaced people and about efforts to protect health centres and allow circulation of ambulances transporting the sick and wounded.